What is a Valid Rabies Vaccination Certificate?

A public health worker wearing a white shirt with black and yellow epaulets reviews a rabies vaccine certificate on a clipboard while looking at a Golden Retriever sitting inside a dog travel crate

Photo credit: Derek Sakris, CDC

The rabies vaccination certificate is formal proof your dog has been vaccinated against rabies. Pet passports are acceptable as long as they include all required information. The rabies vaccination certificate must include ALL of the  following information:

  • Name and address of owner
  • Dog’s breed, sex, date of birth (approximate age if date of birth unknown), color, and markings
  • Dog’s ISO-compatible microchip number
  • Vaccine product name or manufacturer, lot number, and product expiration date
  • Date of rabies vaccination
  • Date the vaccination expires (date the next vaccination is due)
  • Name, license number, address, and signature of veterinarian who administered the vaccine

Like your passport, your dog’s rabies vaccination certificate should not be expired. Check to make sure it will be current for the duration of your trip or get your dog a booster dose before you travel.

CDC does NOT accept these items as proof of rabies vaccination in place of a valid rabies vaccination certificate:

  • Rabies antibody titer values or serologic test results
  • Veterinarian exemption letter
  • Health certificate or pet passport with no proof of rabies vaccination

Vaccination Requirements

  • All dogs vaccinated against rabies for the first time must be vaccinated at least 4 weeks (28 days) before traveling.
  • Puppies must NOT be vaccinated against rabies before they are 3-months (12 weeks or 84 days) old. The rabies certificate must include the puppy’s age or date of birth.
  • Adult dogs (15 months or older) must show a history of previous rabies vaccination with at least one vaccine given after they were 3-months old and one current booster rabies vaccination. With this record, adult dogs don’t need to wait 4 weeks before traveling.